The suspect who exchanged gunfire with police Tuesday allegedly sexually assaulted and killed 6-year-old Alanna Gallagher.
Saginaw Police Department spokesman Damon Ing confirmed a team of task force officers were attempting to serve a search and arrest warrants for 17-year-old Tyler Holder in the 600 block of Babbling Brook Drive.
Holder is the primary suspect in the case because of DNA evidence found at the scene, Ing said.
Holder now faces a capital murder charge after Tuesday morning's shooting during his arrest.
The parents of Alanna Gallagher spoke to FOX4 for the first time since a Holder got into the shootout. The family revealed they had previous run-ins with that neighbor.
They wanted to let the public know what they're feeling and thinking. They also thanked all the officers involved.
"What Officer Lodatto went through for protecting our community, and I know any of the officers there it might have happened to, they're all brave men and woman that go forth to protect us. I really appreciate that and I'm very sorry this happened to him. Having heard the description of his injuries, I've got enough of a background to know that you use a lot of blood. I'm very grateful that someone was able to get a tourniquet on and get him safely to the hospital. I know they said he will need more surgeries. A friend of mine and I went out yesterday to donate blood and I would like to encourage other people, especially in the summer, people are on vacation the temperatures are hot," said Laura Gallagher, Alanna's mother.
According to an arrest warrant affidavit, an agent knocked on the door and announced "police" and asked to speak with Holder about the case. Holder said he didn't want to and Holder was then informed of the warrant out for his arrest.
Holder "reached behind him and produced a handgun," triggering a struggle between the agent and Holder. The agent pushed Holder into the home and tried to gain control of the gun, but Holder was able to shoot the gun and strike Det. Lodatto.
Immediately, another detective fired his gun and struck Holder in the head.
Police first learned about Holder on the night of the murder, when they saw him pacing up and down the sidewalk, according to the arrest warrant affidavit.
Holder lives two houses away from Gallagher's home on Babbling Brook Drive.
Alanna's mother Laura Gallagher told FOX 4 reporters Wednesday she did not know Holder, but her father Karl Gallagher says he had once encountered him due to some criminal mischief.
Karl Gallagher says the teen came over to their house to say their tires had been slashed, then hung around the house. Karl Gallagher called police, who discovered Holder had actually slashed the tires himself.
"I just kind of wonder if that was an opportunity where we could have changed things," Karl Gallagher said, "so that this wouldn't have happened."
Neighbors told police Holder was saying the body was Alanna Gallagher, but police hadn't revealed that information yet. Neighbors also told police Holder was a "trouble maker" involved in criminal mischief in the neighborhood.
Saginaw police spoke with Holder shortly after Gallagher's death, and according to the warrant, he told them he never spent time with Gallagher on the day she disappeared and denied there had been a silver tarp covering a pile of wood at his house.
Holder met with FBI officials on July 5 and he gave them a voluntary sample of DNA and hair samples from four dogs at his house. The dog hair samples later matched ones on the tarp that wrapped Gallagher's body.
That DNA sample from Holder matched DNA taken during the autopsy of Gallagher, when authorities determined Gallagher had been sexually assaulted.
Police were trying to arrest Holder on Tuesday morning when gunfire erupted. Holder was shot in the head and his condition remains unknown.
Three shots were reportedly fired during the exchange and an Arlington police detective was hit in the groin.
Arlington Police Chief Will Johnson told media members Tuesday afternoon the detective's name is Detective Charles Lodatto and he is recovering in intensive care.
Doctors said the bullet that struck him severed Lodatto's femoral artery and he would have died if fellow officers hadn't stopped the bleeding at the scene.
Gallagher was found dead on July 1. Several children found her body on Roundrock Drive and Cindy Lane. Witnesses said it was wrapped in a tarp, her legs and feet were bound and she had a plastic bag over her head. She was wearing only purple underwear.
The affidavit contains graphic detail about the crime scene and disturbing details. It's these very details Alanna's mother Laura does not want to know. Friends, family and even Alanna's two fathers are warning Laura not to read it.
Laura Gallagher mentioned in a Facebook post that some of the men in her life who've read the documents were crying.
"I had posted with my friends that there's things the guys have seen that they don't want me to read and that I felt bad that they're having to suffer through knowing this and I don't. I must have had between 20 and 30 friends pile on say ‘no Laura don't read it, it won't do you any good.' Apparently there's enough information out there that it looks like the police have done a very thorough job of finding out who did this. I've been told I should have no doubts but that I should not read the specifics. I have mixed feelings about being protected. I'm going to let that cup pass you by as a friend would put it," said Laura Gallagher.
The girl lived less than two miles from where her body was found, with her mother and two men who neighbors said were her fathers. Federal investigators searched their home and vehicles, but said they were not suspects.
The family was the target of another crime on Friday. Firefighters were called their home because someone set a vehicle and a memorial in the little girl's honor on fire.
Neighbors on Tuesday said they felt relieved to know a suspect was identified.
"I'm glad it's over. I'm glad they caught somebody. I have a 17-year-old daughter so I'm glad its... Hopefully it's the right person and it's all over now," said Kevin Case.
KDFW FOX 4
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